S. Irene Virbila heads to One Pico at Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica, which was recently renovated in a similar white-washed, relaxed fashion as the neighboring Casa del Mar's Catch. The restaurant switched from a mostly seasonal California eclectic menu to a mostly seasonal seafood menu. Breathe it in...there's just something about the ocean air that tempers the critic:
Most are grilled, sometimes whole, or spit-roasted. Some are served plain (you can order sides). But the beautiful piece of halibut, for example, comes with roasted artichokes, porcini mushrooms and celery. The kitchen, though, has a tendency to overcook the fish, not in a major way, but enough that, if you like your fish on the rarer side, you're left wishing you'd specified how you'd like it.?To round out the menu, there's a fine spit-roasted chicken served with a clutch of fresh vegetables. Rib-eye steak won't challenge those at Cut or BLT, but it's also less expensive and it's a steak with a view.Ah, it's all about the view. Miss Irene has a soft spot for the restaurants at the beach---One Pico gets two stars. Today the "S." stands for "subdued." [LAT]
ELSEWHERE: Cool pics and a first whirl at Kitchen 24; healthful options at Bella Pita in Westwood; a breakfast at Anisette; cake eating at Bosco Cake Salon in Koreatown; stumbling across the Vegan Joint on National; bbq pulled pork sandwich the "ace up its sleeve" at Skratch in Culver City; small plates "with intelligence and soul" at Palate Food + Wine; and a trek to Bashan doesn't disappoint.